Last updated: December 23. 2013 2:11PM - 499 Views
Belinda M. Paschal



Mike Ullery | Daily CallSanta Claus mans his booth at the Miami Valley Centre Mall earlier this month. The “Jolly Old Elf” is ready to hear the wishes of young and old alike as Christmas grows closer.
Mike Ullery | Daily CallSanta Claus mans his booth at the Miami Valley Centre Mall earlier this month. The “Jolly Old Elf” is ready to hear the wishes of young and old alike as Christmas grows closer.
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PIQUA — Before Santa Claus takes off for his whirlwind trip around the world, the Daily Call had the opportunity to catch up with the him and a couple of his elves — or “holiday helpers,” as they prefer to be called nowadays — at the Miami Valley Centre Mall.


Jolly old St. Nick held court on a number of subjects of interest to kids from one to 92, including what this year’s hot gifts are (pay attention, parents!) to what he likes for a Christmas snack (listen up, boys and girls!).


Here’s what we learned during a Q&A session with the Big Man himself.


You see a lot of kids every day. What are the some of the gifts they’re asking for?


— Playstations and XBoxes are big right now, tablets, iPhones and laptops. Electronics are a big thing. American Girl dolls are popular, as well as Legos — that’s one a lot of kids between 8 and 11 ask for. Lalaloopsy dolls are still popular, and so are Barbie dolls and the dream house and convertible. Easy-Bake Ovens are making a comeback. Elf on the Shelf is another hot item.


Have you had any unusual requests?


— I actually had an adult ask me if I could bring her mom and dad back. I told her if I could, I would. Almost made my elves cry.


Are the children always happy to see you?


— Oh, yes! Occasionally, some of the little ones will be afraid and bust out crying, but I give ‘em a high-five and a fist-bump and get them to laughing and smiling!


What snacks should boys and girls leave out for you on Christmas Eve?


— A lot of them leave Santa Claus cookies, but my favorite is chocolate chip cookies and, of course, milk. That’s just fine with me.


What about snacks for Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen?


— Don’t forget Rudolph! They like oats, carrots and celery.


I’m sure traveling around the globe in a single night leaves you exhausted. What are you going to do when Christmas is over?


— I’m going to go to the South and have a long vacation with Mrs. Claus!


Any parting advice for all the hopeful boys and girls out there?


— Be good, listen to your mom and dad and Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho!


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